A facility to improve care for older people and speed up hospital discharge times has been opened on the George Eliot Hospital site.

Arbury Lodge, run by Sanctuary Care, will support people who are able to leave hospital wards, but need on-going assessment of their long-term care needs.

Ward-based discharge assessments can take time and once patients are medically fit to leave hospital, it can take significant time to get support in place.

Arbury Lodge, developed on the site of the former Lydgate Ward, delivers care in a more appropriate setting and improves the experience of patients who no longer need the care of an acute hospital. The new facility currently boasts 12 individual bedrooms (with the capacity to expand to 16 bedrooms), a lounge, patio, dining room and assisted bathrooms. The maximum length of stay for each resident is no longer than six weeks.

George Eliot Hospital Chief Executive, Kath Kelly said: “This will mean better care for our older patients who are well enough to leave a hospital bed but not well enough to go back home. Referring them to this fantastic new facility means they can be assessed in the right place for them – a homely environment away from the busy wards.

“It also helps improve patient flow through the hospital, helping us to free up beds for acutely ill people who come in through our A&E department. Arbury Lodge is great news for our patients and I look forward to working with Sanctuary Care.”

Mark McCarthy, Managing Director Sanctuary Care said: “We are delighted to be working with the team at George Eliot – supporting their drive to improve patient experience  whilst freeing up valuable hospital beds for those who need them most – it’s partnership working at its best.

“At Sanctuary Care we’re passionate about care delivered with kindness so it’s wonderful to see our residents settled into this beautiful facility, being cared for by our warm and friendly team.”